Australia vs Spain World Cup 2014: End of an era for Vicente del Bosque's ageing former champions

David Villa definitely retiring and others may follow as Spain look for fresh start

Spain’s remarkable cycle of success came to an official close in Curitiba yesterday and the sense of an era ending was underlined by two men in particular – coach Vicente del Bosque and striker David Villa.

Del Bosque admitted after the 3-0 win over Australia that his future at the helm of the deposed world champions would be “known in the next week” as Spanish football looks to the future. Although Spain restored some pride following their opening Group B defeats against the Netherlands and Chile, this has been their worst World Cup campaign since 1998 and a brutal fall from grace after successive triumphs at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

“We will talk and we’ll look for the best solution for Spanish football, without any drama,” said Del Bosque. “Today we complete six years where we have practically always been top of the FIFA ranking. It is a generation of footballers who have created a way of playing. On this occasion it was our turn to lose and we have to do so with our heads held high.”

“The future of the national team is in safe hands,” he added. “I think we have a good base and today you saw that.”

Spain’s valedictory victory came via goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and substitute Juan Mata. In the case of Villa, Spain’s record scorer, his opening goal – a clever backheel finish – was the perfect way to sign off at the end of an international career that has brought 59 goals from 97 international appearances.

There were tears from Villa when he was substituted during the second half and he admitted it was hard shutting the door on playing for his country.

“I would like to play for the national team until I am 55 because I have always loved it, but I realise this is impossible,” said the 32-year-old, who will join Manchester City’s MLS franchise, New York City, from the start of the 2015 season.

“The World Cup has finished, I’ve taken the decision to go to the MLS and I won’t be playing for a few months. It is complicated. The normal thing is that it ends here. We will see after six months but I’ll keep on working as ever and if the manager wants me I’ll be delighted. That said, you have to be realistic.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test